"Lying, thinking/Last night/How to find my soul a home Where water is not thirsty/And bread loaf is not stone I came up with one thing/And I don't believe I'm wrong That nobody,/But nobody/Can make it out here alone."
"Alone, all alone/Nobody, but nobody/Can make it out here alone. There are some millionaires/With money they can't use Their wives run round like banshees Their children sing the blues They've got expensive doctors/to cure their hearts of stone. But nobody/No nobody/Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody/Can make it out here alone. Now if you listen closely/I'll tell you what I know Storm clouds are gathering/The wind is gonna blow The race of man is suffering/And I can hear the moan, Cause nobody./But nobody Can make it out here alone."
"Pretty woman wonder where my secret lies./I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size/But when I start to tell them,/They think I'm telling lies./I say,/It's in the reach of my arms,/The span of my hips,/The stride of my step,/The curl of my lips./I'm a woman./Phenomenally./Phenomenal woman,/That's me."
- Justice (Janet Jackson, written by Maya Angelou)
New York Times - 07/23/1993
"...Nothing less than an attempt to celebrate the creative impulse as a means of salvation..."
Variety - 07/26/1993
"...Jackson proves herself a natural in front of the camera....Shakur has the juicier part and turns in truly outstanding work..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 07/23/1993
"...POETIC JUSTICE unwinds like a road picture from the early 1970s....Janet Jackson provides a lovable center for it..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Superstar Janet Jackson makes her stunning film debut in director John Singleton's (Boyz N The Hood) street-smart love story Poetic Justice.
A mismatched pair pushed together on a road trip from South Central L.A. to Oakland, Justice (Jackson) and Lucky (Tupac Shakur) have only one thing in common: they can't stand each other. But as their friends Lesha and Chicago (Regina King and Joe Torry) fight - and make up - in the back of the van, Justice and Lucky find themselves reluctantly drawn together. After a surprising detour toward romance, the two travelers are confronted once again by the shocking violence they thought they'd left behind. Featuring the music of Naughty by Nature and Tony! Toni! Tone! and the poetry of Maya Angelou, Poetic Justice is every bit as intense, original and unforgettable as Boyz N The Hood.
Pop princess Janet Jackson plays Justice, a hairdresser and poet living in South Central Los Angeles, in the second film from director John Singleton. Justice saw her first love killed over a gang grudge, and ever since she's been aloof and lonely. She agrees to go on a road trip with her friend, and meets Lucky (Tupac Shakur), a love-struck mailman who soon finds that Justice will not be easily won over. As they discover that they have ideas about life in common, Justice feels that she is not as alone as she had thought.
After the phenomenal success of BOYZ N THE HOOD, John Singleton surprised his fans by making a film that is part love story, part road movie, and part character study of a sensitive poet. Nevertheless, Singleton sees the movie as the second installment in a trilogy about South Central Los Angeles. The heroine, Justice (Janet Jackson), is a young woman in mourning for the boyfriend she lost to gang violence. Her friend Iesha (Regina King) persuades her to go on a trip to Oakland with mailmen Chicago and Lucky. Lucky (Tupac Shakur) and Justice don't take to each other at first--she doesn't want to get hurt again and he has his pride--but their journey into the world outside the 'hood proves liberating for both. Singleton lets the serious issues he'd previously dealt with explicitly serve as background this time, which makes them all the more powerful, since for these characters, drugs, teenage pregnancy, and gang violence exist as a daily reality. Janet Jackson's soulful look convinces us that she has the world on her shoulders; throughout the film she reads her poetry (actually written by Maya Angelou) in voiceover.
The film was shot on location in Los Angeles, Oakland, and along the Pacific Coast Highway.
The soundtrack includes music by Pete Rock and C. L. Smooth, Usher, TLC, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Naughty by Nature, and Babyface.
The Maya Angelou poems used are: "Alone," "In a Time," "Phenomenal Woman," "A Kind of Love, Some Say," and "A Conceit."
POETIC JUSTICE was star Janet Jackson's feature film acting debut. In addition to being a hugely successful singer-songwriter, she has appeared in a number of television series, including DIFF'RENT STROKES, FAME, and GOOD TIMES.
Janet Jackson and John Singleton went to the same junior high school. They met again when they were both visiting the set of Steven Spielberg's HOOK.